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Secrets to Business Success in China

16 August 2006
 

Here are some secrets that the General Manager of Taiwan’s Longfeng Food company disclosed in an interview by a Hong Kong magazine:

1, Timing: Join the party earlier rather than later.

2, Method: Don’t rely on your old experience. In Taiwan, you can wage a price war until your products dominate the market - because Taiwan is a small place. You cannot do the same in the mainland. Whatever a price discount you set up, there will always be someone out there who is able and dare to challenge you.

3, Respect: Some Taiwan businessmen are highly suspicious of their local staff and have their employers under constant surveillance. As the result they are unable to keep the best workers. Our cleaning lady was hired 13 years ago, today she’s still here and we chat everyday when we meet. Without mutual respect and trust between the boss and staff a company will not be able to hold together.

4, Be Creative: In China you have too many competitors, and as soon as you come up with a new way of marketing, it will be copied by others at no time. So you have to keep your innovative edge in order to maintain your lead in the competition.

5, Good Relationship: For maximising their profit some Taiwan businessmen would try to violate the local regulations. It’s not short sighted. A good relationship with local authorities is extremely important.

6, Best Products: Some Taiwan business would allow outdated products and technologies to enter the mainland market. With this kind of shabby practice they’ll never be able to succeed.

7, Diversity: Mainland China is such a huge place with diverse subcultures and customs. A snack that is popular in Shanghai may find no market in the northeast provinces, and food loved by Cantonese is sometimes shied away from by the rest of the Chinese. So you’ll have to develop a series of products to cater for different geographical market regions.

Water Majiang

Have you ever tried playing majiang with your feet in water? Well, that was what 70,000 plus Chinese in Chengdu did last weekend. The hottest summer in 50 years with temperature reaching 40C has made the weather a hot topic. Now the Chengdu residents greet each other by asking "Where is the coolest place to go?" Fortunately they don’t have to look far. Last weekend more than seventy thousand people visited Hongkouxiang Forest Park (a Natural World Heritage Site inhabited by Big Panda, less than an hour’s drive from the city of Chengdu), where they sat in a valley at a hill foot. For just ten yuan (less than US$1.50), they got a pot of greet tea and a seat by a creek to play majiang with feet dipping in the cool and shallow water. With vendors delivering spicy tofu, cold noodle, barbecued delight and icy beer to their table and farmhouses nearby providing dinner and bed when night fell, why should they spend their weekend anywhere else?

Cool ...

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